DERBYSHIRE: Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis has admitted that it hurt when pacer Mohammad Amir announced his decision to quit Test cricket at just the age of 27. Pakistan had made arrangements for replacements when Amir earlier excused himself from the upcoming England tour but after the birth of his daughter last week, Amir made himself available for the tour.
The chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq approached Amir for his availability and if Amir now returns two negative COVID-19 tests, then the pacer would join England’s squad this week.
“Amir is an experienced fast bowler and was in our white-ball plans, and we are just utilising the chance to have as many ready bowlers as we can,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Younis as saying.
“Amir is a seasoned bowler and at times it did hurt when he left Test cricket at a crucial time and we all expressed our displeasure on it. But we have moved on and we have to see where he stands,” he added.
Ever since Amir announced that he would not be playing the longest format of the game, Pakistan brought in newcomers like Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Abbas in the Test format.
“If he’s (Amir) up to the mark, then we will pick him and play him. But nobody is indispensable. I never thought we couldn’t function without one cricketer. That’s the wrong way to think,” Younis said.
“There should be competition; that actually helps the team. If you go back to the 90s, Wasim Akram, me, Shoaib Akhtar, and many others around were pushing hard for international selection, and that is where teams really blossom,” he added.
The Pakistan players and support staff had arrived in England on June 28, several weeks before the start of the first match and the side went under a 14-day quarantine before travelling to Derby.
Pakistan is living in a biosecure bubble where they will not interact with anyone outside of the group, and regular tests for Covid-19 will be conducted on the tour. Pakistan and England will be facing each other in three Tests and as many T20Is. The first of the series is slated to be played in Manchester from August 5. (ANI)